In Monday's North Jersey Section 1, Group I field hockey final, both attributes were on display and played a large role in the third-seeded Lakers' 2-1 overtime victory against No. 4 Boonton.
Lee, serving as the trail on corner defense, broke up a Bombers corner attempt late in the extra period, stripping the ball way, then raced nearly the entire length of the field. The ball would wind up out of bounds. On the ensuing long hit, Casey Drollinger passed to Lauren Lubowitz, who passed to Megan Ryan. With 1:52 remaining in the extra period, Ryan swept the ball into right side of the goalcage for the gamewinner.
"Lizzie is a bundle of energy," Mountain Lakes coach Coleen Buckley said. "She puts a lot into everything."
When Lee celebrates, too, she goes all out. During a win over Boonton earlier this season, Lee couldn't stop jumping up and down. She added in a cartwheel or two to express her joy. On Monday, Lee tackled teammate Evie Kyritis, the goalie.
"As much as Lizzie puts into a game, she puts into celebrating," said Buckley, who was doused by the contents of two water coolers. "She works at that as hard as she works on the field."
Ryan, a junior midfielder, was aglow as well, reveling in her uncharacteristic role as hero since she doesn't often score.
"I usually have assists," Ryan said. "I'm more of a passer. It was nice to be in a 7-on-7 overtime and give the team what it needed."
The sectional championship was Mountain Lakes' first since 2005 and the first under Buckley, who took over for long-time coach Alison Preston in 2009.
"It was a back-and-forth exciting game," Buckley said. "We've played Boonton enough times to know it was going to be like that. Boonton is talented and well-coached. It's always a great game."
That is was. The game between the schools from neighboring towns was hard fought and physical.
Boonton (12-7) did exceptionally well, considering it was a player down for 15 minutes. Three players received yellow cards and had to sit out five minutes apiece.
"That was tough," Bombers coach Deb Ballway said. "I'm very proud of my kids. We withstood it and didn't get scored on when a player was out. That's the first time in my career that three players were yellow carded. We've been playing well for the last few games. The calls didn't go our way today."
Krysta Wangerin, who will continue her academics and athletics at Wake Forest University, gave Boonton a 1-0 lead with 8:44 left in the opening half when she popped the ball into the upper right corner.
After that, Mountain Lakes (12-7) seemed intent on tying up the score. The Lakers, set to meet Shore Regional in a Group I semifinal, had some chances on corners but didn't convert and went into halftime with a 1-0 deficit.
Lee frequently raced up the side of the field carrying the ball. She brought Mountain Lakes even, 1-1, with a goal 4:44 after the break.
"It was great to get that goal," Lee said. "It was pretty nerve-wracking."
Although Boonton had eight shots on goal to the Lakers' 18, that doesn't mean it didn't spend significant stretches in the scoring circle or in possession of the ball.
Late in the second half, Mountain Lakes was awarded a penalty stroke. Lubowitz, a senior, took it. The shot, however, went off the glove of Boonton goalie Emily DiLaura, who had an excellent showing, making 13 saves.
Wangerin turned in her usual strong offensive effort for the Bombers. She powered the ball toward the cage several times. Some shots were saved or wide. One went high over the goalcage.
Her teammate, right back Logan Reed, was outstanding, preventing the Lakers from getting into scoring position. Back Amy Patel was effective, too. Senior Maria Patterson, who had the assist on Wangerin's goal, was key to the attack.
Buckley gave kudos to her corner unit comprised of flyer Kaylor Davies, Lee or Lubowitz as trail, Jenna Todero, Kelly Breslauer and, of course, Kyritsis, the goalie.
According to Ryan, Mountain Lakes was motivated by the "Burn The Boats" tale told to them at a pasta party on Sunday. The phrase is thought to have originated with Hernan Cortes. The 16th Century Spanish conquistador, headed to the New World to capture a substanstial treasure, told his crew that, once found, it would alter their lives. Once they reached their destination, Cortes instructed his men to burn the boats, meaning there was no room for failure and no turning back.
"It means you won't retreat," said Ryan. "The boats are gone and you won't need them. We had no choice but to conquer and come out with the win."
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan used the story to motivate his players last season. Megan Ryan's father, Tom, liked it so much that he relayed it to the Middlebury College women's lacrosse team of which older daughter, Sally, is a member and it became their quote.
"This is a great rivalry," Megan Ryan said. "We had to play our best. We played as a team, not individuals. We all love each other and it shows on the field."